220 Basik Road, Naples, FL
August 1 will be the last day for business at Big Cypress Marketplace, according to vendors.
Vendors at the 87,000 square-foot shopping and entertainment venue said they received notice on Saturday that their belongings must be moved out for the summer.
The letter did not indicate when they would be able set-up shop again, leaving some to wonder if this is the end for the marketplace.
“They’re saying ‘closed for the summer,’ but then why do I have to take everything out?” said Elie Stern, owner of Look-A-Likes, a fashion jewelry and accessories store.
Stern has three booths in the marketplace and two other shops in Collier County. In April he signed a one year contract with the marketplace.
“But now you put us through the worst time, and now you’re pulling the plug,” he said.
Though the off season cuts into retail sales, Stern said he was still making money in the marketplace and believes that it could have been a very successful venue.
Cynthia Aguilera, owner of fashion jewelry and accessories store All The Glitz, agreed.
“We did fairly well considering what the economy is right now. I didn’t lose money,” she said. “If they would have stayed open for the summer, I would have stayed open for the summer. And if they reopen, yes, I do plan on going back.”
Aguilera, who also has a store at 1201 Piper Boulevard, has three booths in the marketplace. Her contract end date was August 31.
The Tiki Bar next to the marketplace will stay open.
“Either way that it goes, if it sells to a new person, we’re going to be OK,” said bar owner Jason Beal. The Tiki Bar is open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Beal said he is preparing for a grand opening and renaming of his bar in about two weeks.
“I want people to be able to sit at the bar here and their children can go play Wii,” he said.
The marketplace, located off U.S. 41 East, four miles east of Collier Boulevard, opened in October 2008. The project was developed by Basik Development in Naples. McHale Properties in Fort Myers became the receiver when the lender foreclosed in December.
McHale was not available for comment on Wednesday.